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26 August 2008

The Divinity of Camping

I know people that are totally and completely against camping. They won't touch it with a ten foot pole and would rather be involved in tax paying or public speaking if given the choice...

And in some small part I lean in that direction. I grew up camping and I think I remember it being fun. But as I matured and became more worried about cleanliness and order I just grew out of the camping stage. I mean camping involves a lot of negative things like:

  • manual labor
  • bugs
  • humidity and no air conditioning
  • smoke
  • extremes in cold or heat
  • no electricity
  • no television
  • no wireless Internet
  • bathrooms off site
  • etc.
In processing some of these dislikes I came to a stunning conclusion. A bit of a stereotype, I'll give you that, but there is a strong correlation:
Wealthy people don't like camping.
Like I said - stereotyping - but think about it. The more 'things' you have and the more comfortable your lifestyle, the harder it is to give this up and camp. It just makes sense that the wealthier you get, the LESS likely it will be that you would enjoy camping.

Someone living in a trailer has much more in common with camping in a tent than someone living in a quarter-million dollar estate.

Let's Get Spiritual
The Bible describes a similar stereotype by explaining that wealth will make it difficult for people to see their need for God and Heaven.

Just as camping becomes less and less appealing to the wealthy, so too Heaven becomes less and less appealing when you can have everything your heart desires here on earth.

Bringing it Full Circle
But there is Someone who went on the ultimate camping trip. One who made the largest and most awkward lifestyle change just for us.

Jesus chose to go from being the God of the Universe, to being a camper on this dirty, dusty earth. From the having everything to having nothing. For you and me.

This is what I thought about as I camped in Ohio this past weekend. What if camping is a real life way to experience the truly amazing thing our God did for us?

In the humidity and sweat of tearing down our campsite I felt for a brief moment the great discrepancy He endured for me. Because of this camping has taken on a whole new meaning...